Most expected Trey Lance’s participation level in the San Francisco 49ers offense to increase by the week. Instead, the rookie QB didn’t touch the field for a single snap in Week 2’s road win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Lance played four snaps in Week 1 in Detroit, rushing three times for two yards and throwing one pass for a five-yard TD. He stood on the sideline Sunday in Philly.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday his plan with Lance will always be on a week-to-week basis.
“No, I never have a plan that ‘Hey, I’m going to use him or I’m not going to use him,” Shanahan said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “It’s always an option throughout the game. It’s been two games and I’ve never had him in the openers and I’ve never had him as a designated time. I plan on doing that week-to-week and whenever I feel like putting him in. You saw when I did in Week 1 and I never got that urge in Week 2.”
Given that the 49ers couldn’t move the ball early in Sunday’s victory in Philly — going three-and-out on their first three possessions — it was a surprise Shanahan didn’t try to mix it up with Lance.
“Yeah, I understand every angle that people want to take with it,” Shanahan said. “But I also understand that we’re an NFL team and we’re trying to win each game and we do have a starting quarterback and that usually makes it pretty simple. But when your backup quarterback does have a skill set that can bring different things to the game, that’s what gives him an option for us to do. He has something that someone has to prepare for week in and week out. And I think that’s an awesome club that we have in our bag that we can use at any time.
“But you don’t really make decisions based off your team of just putting a guy in totally just for how that is for him in the future. I think that’d be irresponsible to everybody else in the room. You do it if you think it gives you a chance based off of what’s going on in that game, that game only. In the meantime, yeah, it’s nice for a guy to get out there. But if it wasn’t because he was bringing a different element that we thought could help us with something that we’re going against, there’s no other reason that we would do it.”
With the 49ers going 2-0 to start the season, Jimmy Garoppolo has a firm grip on the starting gig. But he hasn’t exactly lit it up in his first two games. If the offense doesn’t kick it in gear in the coming weeks, Shanahan could turn to Lance to liven up a stagnant operation.
A big test awaits in Week 3 with the Green Bay Packers heading to San Francisco. The Packers defense has been picked apart in two games this season, offering Jimmy G a chance to shine in prime time.